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Employee Paralysed After Suffering Fall at Work

Posted by on in Accident At Work
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Inex Works Ltd, a landscaping and gritting company, has pled guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and fined £13,500 for failing to provide suitable safety protection for their workers.

In 2010, one of Inex Works Ltd's workers, Mr Shields, suffered permanent damage to his spine having climbed on top of a gritter and subsequently fallen 3 metres. He was attempting to help colleagues clear compressed grit salt from the interior of a machine used to treat icy roads. Since the fall, he has been paralysed from the neck down.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that Inex Works Ltd of St. Vincent Street, Glasgow had not taken enough precautions to avoid falls by employees who were working at height. In particular, there was a substantial risk to employees who were working with gritters that had no working platforms, walkways or handrails. Additionally, the employees weren't provided with harnesses to prevent them from falling.
After the incident, the injured worker was rushed to hospital and found to have sustained several fractures of his spine, leaving him paralysed. Following the case, HSE Inspector Hazel Dobb, said:

“Inex Works Ltd failed to make sure employees were able to work in safety. This incident could have easily been avoided as there were several other ways this work could have been carried out, such as using alternative means of access or use of a harness.

“Tragically, that is a lesson for the company learned too late for Mr Shields.”

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